christine's bible study

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isa 40:8

deuteronomy 21:1-25:16, do no harm

Read Deuteronomy 21:1-25:16 at Bible Gateway.

Previously: deuteronomy 25:13-16, unjust weights and measures

(Please review the teaching tools of scripture, especially the Hebrew paragraph divisions and chiastic structures. The paragraphs marked by an “s” at their close are weak paragraphs, which indicate a change of facet but not a change of theme or topic. The paragraphs marked by a “p” at their close are strong paragraphs, which indicate the completion of a theme or topic.)

Yesterday’s study in Deuteronomy explaining Do not covet, ended with the first strong paragraph division we have seen since the end of Deu chapter 20. All of the paragraphs since Deu 21:1 have ended with a weak paragraph division, which indicates a change of facet but not a change of topic. These are the weak paragraphs making up a single topic according to the Holy Spirit:

Deu 21:1-9 {s} Atonement for unsolved murder – Do not commit murder
Deu 21:10-14 {s} Treatment of the captive woman – Do not commit adultery
Deu 21:15-17 {s} Do not reject the legitimate firstborn
Deu 21:18-21 {s} Treatment of the rebellious son
Deu 21:22-23 {s} Treatment of the executed criminal
Deu 22:1-3 {s} Treatment of a neighbor’s lost animals
Deu 22:4 {s} Treatment of a neighbor’s burdened animals
Deu 22:5 {s} Sanctity of gender distinction
Deu 22:6-7 {s} Treatment of a mother bird
Deu 22:8-9 {s} Preventing bloodguilt and defilement
Deu 22:10-11 {s} Prohibition of unlike mixtures
Deu 22:12 {s} You shall wear tzitzit on the four corners of your clothing
Deu 22:13-19 {s} Justice for the pure bride
Deu 22:20-21 {s} Justice for the impure bride
Deu 22:22 {s} Justice for the adulterous wife
Deu 22:23-24 {s} Justice for the betrothed virgin in the city
Deu 22:25-27 {s} Justice for the betrothed virgin in the country
Deu 22:28-29 {s} Justice for the unbetrothed virgin
Deu 22:30 {s} Unlawful unions prohibited
Deu 23:1 {s} Assembly membership prohibited (inability to produce seed)
Deu 23:2 {s} Assembly membership prohibited to 10th generation (seed of unlawful unions)
Deu 23:3-6 {s} Assembly membership prohibited to 10th generation (Ammon + Moab)
Deu 23:7-8 {s} Assembly membership allowed in 3rd generation (Edom + Egypt)
Deu 23:9-14 {s} Holiness in the army camp
Deu 23:15-16 {s} An escaped slave shall not be returned to his master – Do not steal
Deu 23:17-18 {s} Wages of a harlot + price of a dog shall not be offered to YHVH
Deu 23:19-20 {s} Do not steal by means of interest on loans
Deu 23:21-23 {s} Pay vows to YHVH
Deu 23:24 {s} Do not harvest your neighbor’s vineyard
Deu 23:25 {s} Do not harvest your neighbor’s standing grain
Deu 24:1-4 {s} Divorce and remarriage
Deu 24:5-6 {s} Do not steal the happiness of your wife + the life of the family
Deu 24:7 {s} Theft of persons a capital offense punishable by death
Deu 24:8-9 {s} Tzaraas, or the evil tongue – Do not bear false witness
Deu 24:10-13 {s} Do not covet the pledge – Do not covet
Deu 24:14-15 {s} Do not covet the wages of your hired men
Deu 24:16 {s} Do not covet revenge so that you put to death the innocent for the guilty
Deu 24:17-18 {s} Do not covet the pledge that belongs to the poor
Deu 24:19 {s} Do not covet the grain that is for the poor
Deu 24:20-22 {s} Do not covet the fruit that is for the poor
Deu 25:1-4 {s} Do not withhold what is justly due the wicked or the ox
Deu 25:5-10 {s} Do not withhold seed that is justly due the dead brother
Deu 25:11-12 {s} Do not withhold just punishment
Deu 25:13-16 {p} Do not covet gain from unjust weights or measures

What is the single topic or theme?

Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Rom 13:8-10

Paul here repeats the five commandments we see expressed in our single topic, and tells us the single theme: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. These five commandments, the second set of five of the Ten Commandments, teach us how to show love to our neighbor. The first five commandments teach us how to show love to God.

In fact this single topic from Deu 21:1-25:16 forms a single chiastic structure. I have parts of it worked out but am not wise enough, yet, to complete it. Perhaps next year. ♥

Continued: deuteronomy 25:17-19, what is due amalek


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